British retail sales hold up better than thought in August

Markets Associated Press

Official figures show that British retail sales continue to hold up despite June's vote to leave the European Union.

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The Office for National Statistics said Thursday that retail sales dipped by 0.2 percent in August from the month before, less than market expectations for a decline of 0.4 percent.

A fall had been anticipated following July's bumper 1.9 percent increase.

Analysts said the solid August showing provided further evidence that the British economy has fared better than many feared following the Brexit vote.

As a result, the Bank of England is expected to keep interest rates unchanged when it concludes its monthly meeting Thursday. Last month, it reduced its main rate to a record low of 0.25 percent to help shore up the economy.